*Dementia*

Today we are going to talk about Dementia.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is a term that is used to describe over all diseases and conditions that get categorized as a decline in all ADL’s/motor functions, any independent functions.

What I mean by that is- Memory loss, Speech/language, problem solving, over all thinking skills that affects your ability to perform everyday activities.

There are a lot of different kinds of dementia.

Most common types:

  • Lewy Body Dementia:
  • Frontotemporal Dementia:
  • Mixed Dementia:
  • Vascular Dementia:
  • Parkinson’s Disease dementia:
  • Alzheimer’s:

Other types of Dementia:

  • Creutzfeldt-Jackob Disease:
  • Down Syndrome:
  • Huntington’s Disease:
  • Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus:
  • Posterior Cortical Atrophy:
  • Korsakoff Syndrome:

As we can see- Dementia is not just one single Disease but an overall term for more than one disease.

Dementia covers a wide range of medical conditions. Any disorder that is grouped under the medical term “Dementia” are caused by abnormal brain changes. The changes cause a trigger in declining, thinking, speaking, any cognitive abilities, can be severe enough to impair all daily life and independent functions. Dementia also affects the persons behavior, feelings, and relationships.

Dementia is often called “senility” or “Senile Dementia” and that’s incorrect. Having Dementia is not normal part of aging. Minor memory issues are a normal part of aging. I mean who doesn’t forget what they ate the day before???

When the memory loss is more sever than just forgetting tiny things.

Memory loss and other symptoms

  • Problems with short-term memory
  • Keeping track of a purse or wallet
  • Paying bills
  • Planning and preparing meals
  • Remembering appointments
  • Wandering outside of the neighborhood (forgetting how to get home)

Symptoms may vary

Many dementias are progressive, symptoms will start out slowly and will worsen with time. If you know someone with any memory issues, please make sure you do not ignore it. Track it, make a log and after two-three weeks evaluate it and get them checked.

The Cause

What causes dementia? Dementia is caused by the brain being damaged. Our brains have cells just like everywhere in our bodies. When our brain cells can not connect to one another this can cause memory issues, speech, and much more. Our brain has different regions. When the cells in a region get damages, then that region can not preform normally. Different types of dementia are types of brain cell damage done in the different regions of the brain. EXAMPLE: Alzheimer’s, this dementia has higher levels of certain proteins inside and outside of the brain cells. So, it makes it hard for the cells to continue to be healthy and communicate normally. There is a region in the brain called Hippocampus. The hippocampus is the center of learning. This region is usually the first to be damaged. Even though, most cases of dementia are permanent and worsen over time, the following conditions may improve when the condition is treated or addressed.

  1. Depression
  2. Side effects from medications
  3. Alcohol (causes impairment- Alcoholics have a form of dementia due to excessive drinking)
  4. Thyroid problems
  5. Vitamin Deficiencies

Treatment for dementia really depends on what is causing the issue. In the more progressive cases-unfortunately there is no treatments. There are medications to (maybe) temporarily improve symptoms. There is no Treatment to stop, cure, or slow the progression of Dementia.

I will be making more blogs about the types of dementia’s out there. My next Blog will be about Alzheimer’s.

Stay tuned for more.

Leave a Reply